2004 Hurricane Relief - Haiti

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The Red Cross in Haiti

Tropical Storm Jeanne caused flooding and death in the northern half of the country after heavy downpours of rain drenched the area on September 17 and 18. Over 600 people have died, with the expected death toll numbers to rise in the coming days.

In light of the horrific damage caused by storm, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are coordinating their efforts to ensure swift action. One of the first tasks in Gonaives, a region that was devastated by floods, is to get the hospital operating again. Among other priorities are to treat the injured (many of whom were hit by corrugated iron falling from collapsed houses), provide those in need with food and water, find shelter for the homeless, and to identify and bury the dead and dispose of animal carcasses. Volunteers from the Haitian Red Cross have been instrumental in getting water to Gonaives and are working closely with the ICRC as they identify and bury the dead.

While the situation in Gonaives is particularly serious, other parts of northern Haiti have also been affected, including the coastal town of Port-de-Paix, the island of La Tortue and the mountainous areas around Gonaives. During an assessment, an ICRC and Haitian Red Cross team came across a village situated between Cap Haitien and Gonaives where 28 people had died and many houses had been destroyed. The road between the two cities has been cut off by overflowing rivers and the Haitian Red Cross is currently trying to organize relief for the village.

Five planes carrying relief supplies have arrived in Haiti. Two aircrafts arrived September 22, one from the IFRC which brought in blankets, plastic sheeting and kitchen supplies, and the Canadian Red Cross deployed a flight loaded with blankets and plastic sheeting. The following day, September 23, the Spanish Red Cross and the French Red Cross flew in over 13 metric tons of humanitarian aid. The Canadian Red Cross sent a second relief flight on September 25.  

Web Story

Canadian Red Cross field hospital provides vital service in Gonaives, Haiti